the day i defied god
& found his salvation on the skin of eve,
my body smelt of onan’s trespasses
& i remember mama telling me to submerge
my essence in olive oil to drown my sins.
today, at my confession, while the vicar prayed
in words that hopped out like joeys,
i imagined the cohorts of heaven in wigs,
bringing a litigation against satan
on the pilferage of the forbidden tree,
a convention of truce on past misdeeds.
time has converted sequestration
& memories of unchaste decorum
have turned into gospels;
but anytime i translate god’s voice
to my language,
all i hear are murmurs of silence
the search for cadavers of father’s ghost
after the twin attacks on 13th June, 2020
a girl tying a hijab
decorated with monochromes of grief
had come to monguno
to understand the cacophonies
that triggered the silence of her father
what she sees are choreographers of winds
whistling dirges in falsetto,
gore gushing from the anatomy of soldiers,
wetting the aridity of lands.
i watched the girl mourn.
her fearful phonations jumping out
with dictions filled with rust,
searching for comfort in the hands of ashes.
after mourning, she began studying
the geography in the stiffness of bones,
unlearning the theorems
behind the contours in life,
scattering requital’s inhibition,
searching for cadavers of her father’s ghost.
Ajise Vincent is an Economist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared in Jalada, Saraba, Bombay Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, among others. He is a recipient of the Eriata Oribhabor poetry prize 2015. He loves coffee, blondes and turtles.